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Biden-⁠Harris Administration Proposes Actions to Protect Renters to Promote Rental Affordability

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Proposes Actions to Protect Renters to Promote Rental Affordability


President Joe Biden records a video about the importance of small businesses, and places a carry out order for his lunch with the Vice President at local restaurant “Ghost Burger”, Tuesday, January 17, 2023, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

According to Moody’s analysis renters are paying approximately 30% of their income on rent. Many Americans cannot afford their rent and are putting a lot of their expenses on credit cards. Credit card debt in the United States is rising. Everything has gotten so expensive due to inflation some people have no choice   to use their credit cards to help with basic expenses.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, especially if you are a first-time buyer, it is even harder than ever. Interest rates have skyrocketed since pre COVID and while in the long term they are still at historical lows, as they may have been 30 years ago the higher interest rates have added hundreds of dollars to a typical home loan payment per month.

The annual mortgage rate hit 13.74% in 1980, and the 16.63% rate in 1981 was and remains Freddie Mac’s highest recorded statistic. However, Quicken loans reported, – “The highest recorded 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 18.63% on October 9, 1981.

CNBC reported in 2017 the median home price from the 80’s to the 2,000’s were:

1980: $47,200
1990: $79,100
2000: $119,600

Housing prices have gone up so much during COVID due to low interest rates many are just priced out of the market and cannot even afford the typical down payment. The choice for some people that cannot afford to buy a home is to rent. But in many of the cities in the United States rent has gotten so high it’s as much as a mortgage. In the pricey areas of Los Angeles for example some two bedrooms averaged between $5,000 and $6000 a month.

Statistica reports, “The average monthly rent for all apartment types in the United States rose substantially in 2021. As of February 2022, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the United States reached 1,295 U.S. dollars, up from 1,100 U.S. dollars a year before.” Smaller cities in the U.S would fall under these figures.

While this Statistica figure seem low to what is happening in the United States larger cities, you must consider the cost of living in places like New York San Francisco Los Angeles, and Miami. Salaries may be higher in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco than a city such as Dayton or Columbus in Ohio- but the cost of living is eating up most of people’s income no matter where they live.

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It’s not just the rent that’s expensive, it’s the security deposit required to move in. For example, in Los Angeles some landlords will require two months’ rent upfront. If your rent is $5000 a month for a two-bedroom that means you need to put down $10,000. If the apartment is furnished the landlord can ask for up to three times the amount of rent. So, if you’re renting a home for $5000 a month, you’ll have to put up $15,000.

Landlords are also charging pet rent if you have a cat or a dog. The rent is usually between $50 to $100 per pet per month.  On top of the rent many landlords are charging water and trash fees and other erroneous administration fees which can really rack up your rent a couple of $100 more per month. Some landlords are even charging garbage disposal fees. Let’s not forget parking. It used to be more of the norm when a two-bedroom apartment would come with two parking spaces. Well in some of the higher end complexes landlords are now charging $100 for an extra space and only giving one space with the two-bedroom in some cases.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced additional initiatives to promote rental market fairness and advance fair housing principles. These steps are consistent with the Administration’s new Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights, which was also released today. The Blueprint lays out a set of principles to guide federal, state, and local partners, as well as the corporate sector, in strengthening tenant safeguards and encouraging rental affordability.

Here are some highlights from the new initiative.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), both independent agencies, announced they will collect information to identify practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants from accessing or staying in housing to inform enforcement and policy actions under each agency’s jurisdiction.

The Right to Organize: Renters should have the freedom to organize without obstruction or harassment from their housing provider or property manager.

Eviction Prevention, Diversion, and Relief: Renters should be able to access resources that help them avoid eviction, ensure the legal process during an eviction proceeding is fair, and avoid future housing instability.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require public housing authorities and owners of project-based rental assistance properties to provide at least 30 days’ advanced notice before terminating a lease due to nonpayment of rent

The CFPB announced it will issue guidance and coordinate enforcement efforts with the FTC to ensure accurate information in the credit reporting system and to hold background check companies accountable for having unreasonable procedures.

As announced in November, the FHFA will also increase affordability in the multifamily rental market by establishing requirements that encourage the financing of multifamily loans that guarantee affordable housing. In 2022, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae purchased a combined $142 billion in multifamily loans supporting over one million units. If the same activity continues in 2023, this will mean an investment of approximately 700,000 affordable units.

Additional details are available on the White House Briefing Room fact sheet.

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are celebrating two of our country’s most productive years!







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